Coffey was one of 400,000 American women who served in World War II. I can’t imagine the courage it took to leave home & go to war like that.
The nation’s oldest female military veteran has died at the age of 108 at her home in San Antonio, Texas. But boy, was she full of life.
Lucy Coffey was found dead in her bed Thursday morning. Queta Marquez, a friend and Bexar County veteran’s service officer, said she had been sick for about a week and was suffering from a cough, according to San Antonio Express-News.
“I am so honored to have met this incredible lady,” Marquez said. “She was truly a pioneer, and full of life and spunk.”
Coffey was an Indiana farm-girl working at an A&P grocery store in Dallas when Japan dropped the bomb on Pearl Harbor. In 1943, shortly after turning 37, Coffey quit the A&P to join the newly created Women’s Auxiliary Corps.
I have to admire her. It took some guts and a real sense of patriotism for her to uproot her life at the age of 37 and put on the uniform.
Coffey was one of 400,000 American women who served in World War II, according to the White House. She served in Australia, New Guinea, and the Philippines and ended up in Japan, where she served more than a decade.
During her service, she rose to the rank of sergeant and earned the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with a bronze star while serving in the Battle of Luzon. But Coffey isn’t a one-bronze-star kind of gal. She earned an Asiatic Pacific Theatre Ribbon with a bronze star, too. She also received a World War II Victory Medal, the WAC Service Medal, and a Good Conduct Medal.
I get the feeling she was a rather extraordinary person.
Coffey was discharged in 1945, but continued to work as a civilian for thirteen years for the Army in Okinawa, Japan, before returning to San Antonio, Texas. In Texas, she worked in the procurement office at Kelly Air Force Base until she retired in 1971.
Last year, Coffey made an honor flight to Washington where she met the president and vice president. As you’d expect, Vice President Biden made jokes — and she kept right up with him. She was a sharp women.
Coffey felt a call to action and served her country proudly. She paved the way for future women veterans and certainly has my respect.
Thank you for your service, ma’am. We’re grateful.
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